Pa. Legislative Maps Still Snagged in Court

Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 11:20 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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At least seven legal challenges to Pennsylvania’s new legislative redistricting maps have been filed with the state Supreme Court, throwing into question whether they will be allowed to take effect as scheduled in 2014.
 
Most of the lawsuits challenge the boundaries recently established by the five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The suits question whether the boundaries as drawn split apart too many towns and counties.
 
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled back in January that the maps presented at that time actually divided districts into too many political subdivisions. As a result, candidates circulating petitions for the April primary ended up running in old districts that were drawn in 2001.
 
The maps were redrawn, but critics argue that the commission failed to follow the court’s January ruling, which admonished officials to avoid dividing up old districts “unless absolutely necessary.”
 
“There were some token efforts [to reduce split subdivisions], but that was not a driving force in any way,” said Cliff Levine, an attorney representing Democratic state senators in their appeal.

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